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Top Dr Says Don’t Believe Vaccine Myths Online

England’s Top Doctor, Professor Dame Sally Davies has stated that those people who believe myths regarding vaccines by anti-vaccine campaigners are “absolutely wrong.”

The chief medical officer is urging parents to ignore the fake news being spread on social media, and to vaccinate their child against MMR. She stated that though this vaccination has been given to millions of children already, current uptake is not good enough.

Myths about the dangers of vaccinations are being circulated on social media, and Dame Sally believes that these are one of the reasons that parents are not taking their children to get the MMR vaccine.

She said, “Over these 30 years, we have vaccinated millions of children. It is a safe vaccination – we know that – and we’ve saved millions of lives across the world. people who spread these myths, when children die they will not be there to pick up the pieces or the blame.”

So far, the vaccine has not only dramatically reduced cases of measles, mumps and rubella, but it has also saved around 4,000 deaths from measles. Just last year the UK was declared ‘measles free’ by the World Health Organization. This means that though occurrences of the disease can still happen, it is now no longer native to the UK.

This year alone, there has so far been 903 cases of measles, a figure Dame Sally believes to be too high; those who had not had the MMR vaccine had been affected the most.

The vaccine is first given to babies on the NHS usually within a month of them turning one, they then receive a second injection before beginning school when they are three. Catch-up injections ae also available for those children who have missed an earlier MMR vaccination.

Back in 1998, a study carried out by Doctor Andrew Wakefield incorrectly linked the vaccine to autism, however, this study has now been ‘completely discredited.’ Unfortunately, it did have an impact on the number of uptakes; in England 87% of children receive both injections, but the target is 95%.

 

Roxby, Phillipa. ‘Don’t be taken in by anti-vaccine myths on social media.; BBC News Online. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-45990874  (2 November 2018).

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